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Holiday shoppers keep it local with market, stroll
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Emery Almstead, 4, tells Santa what shed like for Christmas at theHoliday Market Saturday in J.F. Gregory Park. - photo by Caitlyn Boza

The 2012 Christmas Stroll and Holiday Market drew large crowds Saturday in Richmond Hill.
Hosted by the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, the two-part event is intended to promote local businesses during the year’s busiest shopping season.
“We have so many great businesses in Richmond Hill that feature some really wonderful and unique Christmas gifts,” said Brianne Yontz, the chamber’s executive director. “This way people can get all their Christmas shopping done and support local businesses at the same time.”
More than 70 vendors lined the J.F. Gregory Park pavilion and sold everything from fresh produce and meats to homemade soap and wooden toys at the Holiday Market portion of the event.
Stacy Marquez owns Alyssa Ann’s Inc., a jewelry line she created as a way to stay home with her daughter — the company’s namesake. Saturday marked her first Holiday Market.
“I’m really impressed with the turnout. The community here is so supportive,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of trade shows nationally and internationally, but there’s nothing nicer than being at home and selling to people in your community.”
More than 30 brick-and-mortar businesses, like the recently opened Georgia Game Changers Running Company, made up the Christmas Stroll portion of the event. Many offered special discounts and promotions to stroll shoppers.
Sandra Elliott, owner of the natural running store, said she had high hopes for Saturday’s sales but was ultimately disappointed with the turnout.
“It wasn’t as good as we expected. We got some people in who saw our Facebook page or already knew about us, but no one from the stroll. I think next year we’ll try having a booth at the Holiday Market. I think more people go there because they can get things they can’t get at any other time,” she said.

Read more in the Dec. 12 edition of the News.

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